POLITICS

Hillary Clinton Wins Newtown, After Making Gun Control Central To Her Campaign

Gun control was a key issue in the Connecticut Democratic primary.

As part of her victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Tuesday's Connecticut primary, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton defeated him in a place that became central to her campaign: Newtown, Connecticut, where in 2012, 26 people were killed during a gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Clinton got 1,371 votes to Sanders' 1,177, or about 53 percent of the vote to Sanders' 45 percent.

Clinton's win in Newtown was significant because she made gun control a major issue in the state's primary, holding several campaign events that discussed gun violence. 

The former secretary of state has been eager to highlight the issue as an essential policy difference between her and Sanders in a state where it has become important and personal to voters. On the campaign trail, she emphasized Sanders' 2005 vote to allow gun manufacturers immunity in assuming legal liability over deaths caused by gun violence. Family members of gun violence victims have also criticized Sanders for his position.

To further drive home Clinton's focus on gun control, her campaign released an emotional ad featuring Erica Smegielski, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung.

“No one is fighting harder to reform our gun laws than Hillary,” Smegielski said in the ad. “She reminds me of my mother: She isn’t scared of anything. And that’s how I know she is the person who can actually make a difference.”

In addition to Smegielski's support, Clinton received endorsements from Connecticut politicians who have fought for tighter gun laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting, like Gov. Dan Malloy (D) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D). Another Clinton supporter, gun control advocate and former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), joined Clinton at campaign events in the Nutmeg State to highlight Clinton's gun control platform.

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